Beyond my friend from childhood who is the reason we ultimately retired to Mississippi, a man who has become such a good friend we call each ‘brother’ is Rusty. He is the brother-in-law of my friend as their wives are sisters. He is a bear of man (see my post Birdman of Benton if you haven’t seen a picture of him) who puts on the Santa Claus suit but provides the beard himself. He is a fabulous story teller, most of them from real events from his life. I had been coming down for 6 years after meeting him before I ever heard a story repeated. When my sons have come down in the summer in their early teens by themselves, he would regale them with stories which they have never forgotten and can still tell to this day.
I am going to use this post to start attempting to tell some of his stories (which like fishing stories, the fish grows with each telling). He has been a cowboy, combine driver, farmer, truck driver, hunter, husband and father. There are stories about all of these topics and more that come out all the time. Another neighbor and friend were talking about him and realized that we can just sit back and listen and be entertained for a long time and not worry about needing to talk.
But it will begin by us having dinner (which us northerners call lunch) at a Chinese restaurant last week. When the fortune cookies arrived, Rusty picked his first and burst into laughter upon reading “YOU HAVE A FLAIR FOR ADDING A FANCIFUL DIMENSION TO ANY STORY”.